Marcel Duy, Product Director, Digital Business Planning at IKEA
How do you choose between supporting your customers, growing your team, and responding quickly to challenges in a pandemic? If you’re Stephan Serwe, Senior Director of Marketing Operations at PointClickCare, you successfully managed all three this year.
PointClickCare is the leading cloud-based software platform for the senior care market Because of the nature of their solutions, these success strategies became even more relevant in the COVID era.
Here are three key success strategies PointClickCare, Stephan, and the marketing team applied:
The senior care industry was hit by COVID early. To best assist their customers in a crisis, PointClickCare released a new COVID-relevant solution earlier than planned. This solution was still in development, but PointClickCare knew that releasing it early would provide immediate value. It was released as a Beta test, while the team continued the development to completion. Due in part to this move, PointClickCare was able to keep their customers engaged with situationally relevant solutions
Right at the beginning of the pandemic, PointClickCare focused only on COVID-relevant communications. Within a couple of days all messaging shifted to focus on solutions directly related to COVID. Like everyone else, PointClickCare cancelled all in-person events, but has strongly increased their webinar attendance since the start of the pandemic thanks to focusing on programs their customers need.
Stephan started his career in B2C marketing and advertising, but what he urges B2B marketers to remember is that they’re still marketing to people. Your messaging still needs to evoke a response in a person. The big differences are increased segmentation and impulse purchases. As Stephan teased, “there’s not so much impulse purchasing in B2B.”
Along with their customer-facing efforts, PointClickCare made additional behind-the-scenes changes that backed up their messaging. To be as helpful as possible, all customer-facing teams were made readily available to support customers who needed solutions.
PointClickCare transitioned to quarterly planning cycles from annual planning to increase agility as the market continues to evolve. Shorter planning cycles and more frequent optimization reviews will increase productivity as well as saving time and money. They’ve also extended long-term, multi-year planning cycles to keep alignment between long term strategies and short term objectives. Now PointClickCare can pivot more quickly, without changing the structure of their organization and its operations.
PointClickCare’s Marketing operations are supported by a strongly integrated tech stack of Uptempo, Bizible, Google, Marketo, and SalesForce, among other solutions. PointClickCare uses Uptempo to measure ROI, control marketing budgets, and align those investments with key initiatives, strategies, and markets. With clarity around investments and ROI, marketing can get agreement within the organization and align with finance. While Stephan is in charge of driving marketing ROI, he emphasized that “ROI is just the outcome,” and planning remains the most important aspect of using Uptempo.
I think agile is very important and will be even more important in the future. I would put agility into concept with scalability. Many organizations are growing, but we have to have a process to be scalable. So, I feel if you are agile, you have a better chance at being scalable and making sure that what you implement is going to be scalable for the future and sustainable over time.
Everyone is going the digital way. And we are all talking about evolutions on the events side, what is going to be possible live and what is going to be possible being online. What are we going to do in a hybrid format?
We used to do a lot of customer facing events–summits–which currently are not possible. So we’re talking about more hybrid solutions, to provide a choice in alignment to local or regional regulations and increase customer experience.
Another big topic is being digital, to better align to evolving customer expectations. There are a lot of elements that are prompting towards automation, scalability of strategies, and digitization. Of course we want to keep human interaction alive, when we can, but we may be in a situation where we can’t for the next while.
We’re going through short and long term marketing transformations. But not knowing what the future will look like we are operating with multiple case scenarios.
And then again agility comes into play. When is there a need to pivot from one to the other scenario? When do we start to ramp up? We will remain relevant to our audiences, but we may do it in such a way that is appropriate to the situation. Pre-empting change will have to happen fast. And again being agile, we’ve got to have several scenarios that we can play in.